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With any size team, culture is crucial to scaling and retaining team members, Aaron Kirman, Dawn McKenna and Anthony Marguleas told Katie Kossev at Inman Connect Las Vegas.
Kirman learned that lesson the hard way when he first started The Aaron Kirman Group at Compass. He started off by trying to grow his team quickly without going through all the necessary steps of ensuring he had the right people, and quickly realized that the size of his team was irrelevant without those right people.
“When I decided to open a team, I was like, ‘Oh, bigger is better,'” Kirman said. “And I realized the first year, bigger is not always better. We had like 40 people on our team and we did the exact same volume that I had without those 40 people.”
Later, Kirman realized he had to emphasize culture, pick the right people, define who he was and how he wanted team members to represent him. Today, he turns down 80 percent of the people who want to join his team and has set a minimum for how much agents need to sell.
“Be very curated in the vision of where you want to go and how you want to go,” he advised ICLV attendees.
McKenna took a much more organic approach to scaling her 22-person luxury real estate team, without actively recruiting members. However, nearly all of her team members came to her through referrals from existing team members, which meant that her agents already shared similar values and supported a like-minded culture.
That sharing of values also led her team to largely be comprised of former Division I athletes.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Marguleas said he takes a very active approach to hiring, and dedicates at least one hour every day to recruiting.
“Treat recruitment like you are prospecting,” Marguleas advised. “It comes down to putting the time in and the energy.”
Marguleas has a minimum transactions per year requirement for team members and goes through a six-round interview process during hiring. During the final interview round, all of the company’s team members must approve the potential new hire as a culture fit, or else they won’t be hired to the team.
The team leaders also said that culture is just as essential to retaining team members.
“We feel as long as we provide the right value to our team, they’re going to stay,” Kirman said.
View more of the luxury team leader’s tips in the video above.